IT MAY have been a bit nippy here recently,
but a former Dunmurry woman knows what cold is all about after
becoming the only woman in a team of five to reach the North
Pole last week.
Wendy Kidd was quite literally on top of the
world on April 21 when she and a team which included deaf
people, reached the North Pole in just 15 days - three days
ahead of schedule.
Wendy (26), who now lives in Scotland,
returned on Sunday from the National Deaf Children's Society's
She was the only female in the team of five
travelling across the surface of the Arctic Ocean between
Latitude 89N and the Geographic North Pole at 90N known as the
The team travelled on skis across drifting
sea ice and hostile wilderness whilst towing 40 kg of equipment
Wendy has already cycled 250km across
Cambodia for the same charity five years ago, so when she heard
of the challenge to the North Pole, she jumped at the chance.
Her six month training regime consisted of
workouts to the gym to strengthen arms and legs. "My friends
just thought that I was bonkers," said Wendy, a publicity
consultant in the film industry who runs a company called No
Kidding Ltd. I thought that you are going to do something for
charity you might as well do something big. I am not sporty at
all but once I put my mind to do something I do it. The training
was gruelling but because I felt passionate about it and for a
charity that is not so well known, it was well worth it. "
Among the problems she faced was the ice
moving west, pressure ridges and towing sleighs weighing 40kg in
temperatures as low as -35 degrees for up to eight hours a day.
Her diet consisted of processed food, peanuts and five chocolate
bars per day.
"There were times that it was so cold and you
almost always had to be on the move because if you stood still
at all it was difficult to get going again," said Wendy.
"It was challenging and difficult at times
but fascinating and I have no regrets. It was strange to see
light for 24 hours a day and we were the only people for
hundreds of miles. It was a hair-raising journey as there was a
very strong westerly drift. The wind was blowing as fast as we
could walk so we were concerned that if we didn't make it that
day, we wouldn't make it at all. We celebrated in our tents with
"When you reach the North Pole you are quite
literally on top of the world. It was a huge sense of
Each participant raised �27,000 for the National
Deaf Children's Society (NDCS). Helen Lerwill, NDCS Head of
Events explained: "NDCS is funded almost entirely through public
donations so none of our work would be possible without the
commitment of individuals like the North Pole expedition team.